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Big One Re-Tracking @Pleasure Beach

JoshC.

Active Member
I've always found the argument for Blackpool's dark rides being allowed to open a bit of a loophole.

As I understand it, indoor entertainment isn't allowed under the current restrictions.
But it is okay for a ride at a theme park to do so if you do it in a bubble. But then some indoor entertainment venues that you do within your bubble (eg: escape rooms) isn't allowed to open.

I'd assume Blackpool have consulted with government authorities, etc and gotten the all clear. But I guess I still find it a bit irksome that they're opening indoor entertainment when other indoor entertainment venues, that are equally Covid safe in all honesty, aren't allowed to open.

I also find it odd that some rides with larger indoor sections across the parks (Th13teen, Smiler, Saw, Vampire to name but a few) are allowed to open too.

Maybe it's just me being a grumpy git.
 

rob666

Member
Almost as bloody stupid as letting a crowd in at the indoor snooker in Sheffield, but not letting the crowd in at Wembley for the football, which has a thousand times more airspace, and is outdoor.
Government rules, but make it up as you go along and call it an experiment!
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Honestly, due to the issues I had with Icon today I've decided to bump it down a place in my rankings. Really not a fan of the new seatbelts/restraints and I'm gonna assume the decreased operations won't be short term. I was already teetering between whether I like Swarm or Icon though, but I think I've made my decision.

The biggest problem with today, like many other people who visited said, was the GP. I've heard about at least two cases of vandalism in the park today, as well as the constant stench of marijuana and cigarette smoke everywhere I went. And the virtually non-existent Covid protocols, as I mentioned.

EDIT:- Here is an illegal POV I have found that shows both sections of the new track on Big One:-

 
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Shame you had a poor-ish Saturday CrashCoaster.

I've found the GP to be quite varied in Blackpool. When busy (and only on Saturdays it seems) it can be the worst out of all the parks I've done. Bad operations are then truly a disaster. I've witnessed vandalism myself. Little girls peeling off the gold of the Icon queue line everywhere they could get their nails under. "So that's how that sort of stuff disappears" I was thinking. Smoking, queue jumping. I've found it immensely frustrating when it's like that. Most other days in the week however it has always seemed an acceptable experience crowd wise, and often usually good.
Last year on re-opening day (Saturday 4th of July) Pleasure Beach was actually quiet but the weather that weekend wasn't great. It seemed a good amount of people there to get the measures going but I heard much complaining later in the year when it was too busy also. I did a Thursday - Friday - Saturday morning stint in September last year as well, with again Saturday starting to be a bit too frustrating from what I could see but I was planning on leaving midday anyway so didn't see the worst of it probably.

I can understand the parks trying things here and there with these Covid measures but in the end I don't think theme parks can ever be fully proper Covid measure compliant. There are just too many people, that is the whole point to make multi million pound ride installations worthwhile. And either the measures cause endless delays or have to sort of be skipped or not enforced to keep things going if it's busy. Also with the case rate we are now seeing in the likes of India (and is not on the red list! - they are having more cases per day than the likes of Zimbabwe has registered in total and is on that list!) does all of this matter what one park in one of the 50,000 towns in the UK actually does? I don't know. The loopholes with the travel stuff I think is a far bigger worry - considering that is how Covid got here in the UK and probably how other strains might arrive (inaccurate tests, or Covid might not show up on these yet, no quarantine from several countries, can travel because of work or various other reasons etc). It would be nice if the rules were enforced and followed as well as I witnessed on re-opening last year in Blackpool, but it probably will never happen again. Part of it is probably psychological with low case numbers and low death rates and even the availability of the vaccines meaning the GP will just care less as they are less afraid. The park will also try to maximise their Saturday takings as Rob said nowhere else to go at the moment and all considering the closures they have had in the last year.

It's a shame Icon, even with 3 trains can be frustrating. Speedypass and Covid measures are just not a good idea combined at all. I can understand the park needs to maximise profits but I'd rather see Speedypass just didn't exist at Blackpool. Perhaps another increase in prices could compensate for that, I know people will moan but the people who will go would have a better experience overall, not just the affluent few, then more likely return and give good word of mouth. Win win surely. There is not enough good speedy pass merge infrastructure in place to help this nonsense along. It's probably actually one of the reasons why ride scans are back I assume as it's done at the same place as the merge points for some of the rides. Also at the Merlin parks and in Walibi Holland I've found it frustrating with the amount of fasttrack people that can come along in one go, often indeed an entire train or most of it gone and the general queue grinding to a complete halt for minutes.

Good points from Rob. I just noticed all late evenings are pretty pricey at the likes of The Big Blue Hotel already. No doubt all hotels in the area will be crammed on especially those days. Might have to avoid Saturdays in general completely this year.

Getting back to the Big One retrack:
I wish they could tackle the entire thing in one go. I've heard the ruckus sound in the tunnel is somewhat gone, hard to tell from that video. I actually liked that part as it seemed to freak people out. :D Good to hear it was running fast. The best rides I had were at Easter 2019 when it was like that and have never quite experienced it since. Hopefully will catch it on a good day this year.

With the bit by bit retracking, it is a good indication that maintenance of the Big One in the most troublesome spots is in good hands in the mean time though.
 
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rob666

Member
I'm pretty sure they are not trying to maximise profits with speedypass...just minimise losses.
I think the new ride has done nothing for the parks finances at all in the short term.
 

emoo

Member
I better buy a speedy pass then, help them out with that flop. Given I only visit once in a blue moon it turns a reasonable day into a better one for the fraction of my costly train ticket.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Thanks for reporting back @CrashCoaster!


I’ll admit I’m surprised, and a little concerned, that the seatbelts on Icon impact the ride experience that much. Out of interest, what is it you would say they ruin in particular, if you are willing to delve into specifics?

Very promising to hear you say that the Big One and Big Dipper retracks are improving the experience, though; hopefully I’ll enjoy them a bit more on my next visit to Pleasure Beach!
 

rob666

Member
Didn't have a problem with the belts myself, felt they were completely unnecessary, but it was more the phone scanning and covid cleaning caused the problems...and the speedyp(assholes) of course.
The seat belts aren't a flop in my mind.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Didn't have a problem with the belts myself, felt they were completely unnecessary, but it was more the phone scanning and covid cleaning caused the problems...and the speedyp(assholes) of course.
The seat belts aren't a flop in my mind.
Promising to hear; thanks for reporting @rob666!

Hopefully the issues with phone scanning and cleaning should subside once the UK has progressed further through the unlocking roadmap.
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
I’ll admit I’m surprised, and a little concerned, that the seatbelts on Icon impact the ride experience that much. Out of interest, what is it you would say they ruin in particular, if you are willing to delve into specifics?
The restraints definitely seemed bulkier to me, and it probably doesn't help the fact that I was stapled on that ride either. Another small complaint I have is I'm not a fan of the new grab-handles, their placement felt a bit odd and they were angled pretty flat, so they weren't particular comfy to grab onto compared to before (I'm not really one for hands up on rides if I'm honest, not because I'm scared but because it's too much effort). Honestly, it probably wouldn't affect the average non-picky rider too much so don't be too concerned for now. The main takeaway really is the reduced operations, the actual ride experience itself felt virtually the same.

On another note, I purchased the Icon nanocoaster and does anyone know an easy way to cut out the metal pieces? I've tried to use nail clippers (as the instructions recommend) but it's literally taken me forever to cut out the first few pieces and now I feel like I've got arthritis in my hand.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
See, I always hold on as well @CrashCoaster; I know it’s uncommon, but I personally feel way more comfortable on rides holding on!

Good to hear that the actual ride experience isn’t too profoundly changed on Icon, though!
 
I'm pretty sure they are not trying to maximise profits with speedypass...just minimise losses.
I think the new ride has done nothing for the parks finances at all in the short term.
The financials of the various companies registered to Companies House don't paint a good picture for sure.
 
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